Tom Coronel: "Lap times are good, that is what makes you win races" There is nothing glamorous about a race track in winter. No spectators, no atmosphere. When weather conditions are changeable on top of that, things aren't better at all, to say...
Tom Coronel: "Lap times are good, that is what makes you win races"
There is nothing glamorous about a race track in winter. No spectators, no atmosphere. When weather conditions are changeable on top of that, things aren't better at all, to say the least. Currently, Formula 1 teams are affected by this during their test sessions at Jerez, and Tom Coronel also had to cope with it at the Circuit de la Comunidad Valenciana Ricardo Tormo. At the circuit in Cheste near Valencia, the Dutch driver completed a total of 48 laps with the SEAT Leon TDI, which he will be racing in this year's FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). The first encounter makes him optimistic.
In a fortnight, on March 7th, the 2010 WTCC season will get underway, as usual at Curitiba in Brazil. The test in Valencia, that also saw the factory teams from BMW and Chevrolet on the track next to Coronel's team SR- SPORT with the SEAT Leon TDI cars, was the final preparation before the start of the season. The race cars are already on their way to Brazil, so test cars were used at Valencia. For Tom Coronel, this was his first opportunity to familiarize himself with the SEAT Leon TDI that was new to him. "Of course, such a test costs a bit of money, but it still made sense for me to do it, otherwise you arrive at Curitiba and you are being thrown in at the deep end", Coronel said. He shared the SEAT Leon TDI that was still used as SEAT Sport's test car last year with Danish driver Michel Nykjaer and Italian Gabriele Tarquini, the reigning world champion. Tarquini, Portuguese ex-Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro and Spaniard Jordi Gene will be Coronel's team-mates at SR-SPORT while Nykjaer has been entered for the Independents' Trophy with a SEAT Leon TDI under the SUNRED banner.
Silent, but fast Anyone who has watched a diesel-powered car in action at a race track knows that one thing is particularly striking: the low noise level. Inside the car, the experience is identical, as Tom Coronel reports: "It doesn't seem fast at all, especially as the car is producing so little noise compared to race cars with petrol engines. With a diesel engine, you change gear at around 4,000 rpm, so much earlier. But still, I pretty soon did a lap time of 1.44.4 minutes, the time that put Tarquini on pole for last year's race at Valencia. So, the lap times are good, and that is what makes you win races!"
Coronel continues: "The SEAT with a diesel engine is 30 kg heavier than the petrol engined one I raced in previous years. You really notice that in the balance of the car. Another striking element is the huge amount of torque, especially while accelerating out of the corners. It is like being pushed in the back all the time." After the successful run at Valencia, Coronel is looking forward to the upcoming season. He will be racing with starting number 2, his SEAT Leon TDI sporting the dark-blue livery of his sponsors McGregor and TW Steel. The yellow colour elements refer to SEAT, as Dutch SEAT importer Pon Car is also backing Coronel's WTCC campaign.
-source: tom coronel